Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lula and free trade

He's supposedly part of the wave of leftist leaders in Latin America, but the Wall Street Journal published a flattering portrait of Lula about his staunch free trade advocacy. He even says he is going to lobby Washington to pass the free trade agreement with Colombia along with ending the Cuban embargo (not to mention talking to Hugo Chávez about toning down his rhetoric). He is on a crusade to fight protectionism.

However, he also wants to decrease Wall Street's influence.

Mr. da Silva's disdain for investment banks is rooted in the aftermath of his 2002 election, when U.S. and European investment houses led a rout on Brazilian bonds, predicting Mr. da Silva would wreck the economy. Brazil's economy has remained on solid footing, and its financial system is intact.

Indeed, Mr. da Silva said the crisis offered an opportunity to create an economy where Wall Street financiers play a smaller role.

"The world will be less false," Mr. da Silva said. "The economy that will count is the one that produces corn, rice, a screw, a car, a suit, a watch."

Given his background and everything that has been said about him in the past, Lula's current position is amazing. He has forged his own middle ground and gets along with everything. He even noted that U.S.-Brazilian relations during the Bush administration were "dignified." How many Latin American leaders would say that?


mike a,  4:44 PM  

Kudos for not criticizing a WSJ piece.

However, just who is the Mr. da Silva that the writer refers to? That made me laugh a bit, if only for the stubbornness of adhering to editorial policy.

Greg Weeks 4:52 PM  

There is a big difference between the WSJ reporters and the editorial staff. The former is quality and the latter is a joke.

Justin Delacour 8:06 PM  

He even noted that U.S.-Brazilian relations during the Bush administration were "dignified." How many Latin American leaders would say that?

The question is a bit facile, I think. Other Latin American leaders can't say their relations with Bush were "dignified" because they don't wield the same kind of bargaining leverage that Brazil does in international relations. Of course, Lula is a good diplomat, but it strikes me as silly to try to reduce inter-state relations to the inter-personal relations of presidents. International relations is just a lot more complicated than that.

redwood 2:48 AM  

yes, I'm not sure what Gary is getting at.

but I think the more interesting observation is the one about investment bankers considered together with this Lula criticism of unregulated markets:

"We can't accept the idea that for the irresponsibility of bankers, and the irresponsibility of a few leaders, who didn't regulate, that the rest of the world ends up stuck with the bill, and above all its poorest," he said.

Lula is obviously not thinking about free trade in the same way as the Wall Street Journal does, i.e. solely in terms of who best supports the free flow of private capital.

Vicente Duque 12:54 PM  

Trade is one of the Best Friends of Peace and Progress.

The same ships or airplanes that carry loads, also carry a cargo of ideas, philosophies, influences, language evolution, cultural evolution, civilization ideas, economic ideas and ideals, democratic ideas and ideals.

Trade is even more powerful than war. I doubt that wars can impose many beautiful ideas and ideals. Perhaps only resentment and revenge for future decades or centuries.

Nations should be careful with Free Trade Agreements but not to the point of throwing the baby with the dirty water, in order to satisfy partisanism or special egoistic interests of small groups.

I celebrate that Mr Lula loves Free Trade and many other Interactions among nations.

Isolationism is Foolishness.

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque 5:45 PM  

Trade with Colombia, Korea and Panama.

House Ways and Means Committee - Hearings with the Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

House Representative Dave Reichert, Republican from Washington State.

Dave Reichert is a friend of Free Trade and is concerned about Excessive Protectionism from the Present Administration

Reichert Presses Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Free Trade, Bailout Accountability and Tax Hikes - Trade with Colombia, Korea and Panama

March 3, 2009

Reichert Presses Treasury Secretary Geithner on Free Trade, Bailout Accountability and Tax Hikes

Reichert worried about the Economy of his Washington Constituency. He asks for Free Trade. Geithner is elusive but it seems like Change is in the air for Democrats and Trade.

See various videos about Congressmen discussing Trade and a change of position of the Obama Administration.

Vicente Duque

redwood 1:47 PM  

Vincent Duque, it's poor form to cite your own site.

Anonymous,  4:28 AM  

thanks for the information....

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